When in the States, we are always asked if we feel safe when we are in Egypt. We have always answered "yes". In fact, there are certain aspects of life that we have felt safer with here in Egypt than we did in the States. One of those is that we felt that our children were safer on the streets here. In the States, there is always the thought in your mind that your child might be taken, or snatched away if they are out by themselves. But here in Egypt, the streets are always full of people, and those people always seem to watch out for each other. If someone is hurt, people come running to help.
Before the revolution, Egypt was seen as a country with a pretty low crime rate. People were fairly scared of being caught by the police because being in custody or in prison here is not quite the "pleasant" experience it can be in the States. During the revolution though, the police just disappeared off of the streets, and things became quite chaotic. If you saw any scenes from the revolution, you would know why. But lately, the police are once again making their presence known. I believe they are still a little gun-shy (as we say in the States) because the happenings of the revolution are still fresh in their minds. But I also believe the police are trying harder. I have seen places they are posted, and they are trying to help traffic maintain order, and they are trying to stop people from doing things that are supposed to be illegal or could endanger others.
The depressing part of this situation though, is the fact that there are still people out there who want to do things "their way", regardless of the fact that it is illegal and dangerous. I have been sitting at traffic lights, where the police will stop traffic so the traffic crossing in front of them can go, and there will be people either totally ignore the police or stop and sit there, blaring their horn or yelling at the police officer until they are able to go.
My husband found the following short article on-line. It is from a magazine here called "almasry alyoum", which I believe means "The Egypt Daily". (Any of my Egyptian friends can correct me on this if I am wrong.) After the article is a comment left by an Egyptian woman which sums up how I feel.
Police Officers Attacked in Three Governates
Police officers on Thursday were attacked in three Egyptian governates.
In Cairo, people stormed the Muski police station downtown, beat an officer, and broke his arm for having confiscated an expired driver’s license that belonged to one of them.
In Giza, a taxi driver tried to stab a police officer who tried to stop him from driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street. Another taxi driver assaulted an officer who was inspecting his license.
In Arish, two police officers were shot at while chasing thieves who were trying to steal cars.
Please people use common sense. Let the police do their honest work. Break his arm because he took a license from someone who was not supposed to be on the road endangering other people's lives?? You've got to be kidding me! I only hope the creeps who did this are punished. You want a honest police department? Then be honest yourselves. They have a lot to prove to themselves and to you but things will never change with things like this going on. Let them prove themselves. To read things like this and the other treatments of the police doing their honest work makes me sick to my stomach to think that people can act this way. I guess those same people want the police to protect them if someone is beating or robbing them?
It kind of reminds me of what the Bible says in Judges 17:6
In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
I'd like to put this challenge out there for all of my friends here in Egypt. Take this woman's advice. Start showing the police here respect, and start encouraging others around you to do the same. I know I have some great friends here in Egypt who want their country to become something better, and I challenge you to do what you know is right, "in your own heart".